Dietary food records from adolescent male and female swimmers participating in a national developmental training camp were analyzed for nutrient density. The mean caloric intake was 5,221.6 kcal for males and 3,572.6 kcal for females. The distribution of calories between carbohydrates, protein, and fat was not ideal for athletes trying to optimize performance. These young swimmers consumed too much fat and not enough carbohydrate. They consumed more than the RDA of vitamins A and C, and thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin; however, some concern is expressed for females who did not meet the RDA for calcium and iron. This study shows that although a group of adolescent swimmers may be consuming enough nutrients, individual swimmers may have very poor dietary habits and thus may not be providing adequate fuel or nutrients for optimal training or performance.
J.R. Berning and J.P. Troup are with U.S. Swimming, International Ctr. for Aquatic Research, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. P.J. VanHandel was with the U.S. Olympic Committee; he was killed in a plane crash in Colorado Springs. J. Daniels is with the Dept. of Physical Education, SUNY, College at Cortland, Cortland, NY 13045.